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985116 No. 985116 ID: 2a895f


I can only hope that it's not too late.
Expand all images
No. 985117 ID: 2a895f
File 160997375139.png - (529.18KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch02.png )


It's quiet as I sit in the waiting room outside of the arena. I haven't been here since a year ago - the previous tournament began in the very same place. It was me and my sister's first one - and we broke many things that day, records included.

There's a certain feeling here, like... it's when you're going to war. What is war? They always said that, it was a thing that used to happen between many, many people out there. And that were were meant to fight in them. But that never happened.
It still feels familiar to me though.
It reminds me of the dreams I used to have when I was younger, still adjusting to this little hellhole of mine.

Nowadays, I don't have any dreams at all... suits me. Why dream when anything I could dream of is far, far away from here?

No. 985118 ID: 2a895f
File 160997388159.png - (194.04KB , 1500x1000 , 1stch03.png )

Oi, there you all are! I was wondering if I got lucky and that you guys all popped out of my head when I was sleeping. Didn't hear a peep out of you all the way past breakfast!

Not much has happened since. I'm getting geared up, but you'd better do your job and give me advice on how to beat her.

I'll give you the overview first.

Right then. Our enemy.
Judicium, Sector Boss of the Training Grounds, drill sergeant, ice queen.

She's someone who fights with non-lethal weaponry - that's all I've ever seen her use, even in the exhibition rounds I saw her in during the first ever tournament I saw, in my first year of kickin' around. The tournament that I got cheated out of by my sister came in the next year, but that's not what we're here to talk about. I'm guessing she likes beating people with canes because you can't be maiming your own trainees and sending them to medical every damn day.

She carries around a shield. I never understood why - it lowers her maneuverability significantly, in favour of defensive combat. Sure, if you're trying to teach someone how to exploit the weaknesses in someone's defense, then that's a suitable training method, but in terms of practice, why do that when you can obliterate the opponent before they can do anything? She'd most likely use it to prevent me from easily dispatching her from range using my guns and the arena is built so that I can't easily outmaneuver her for reasons I'm about to explain.

Judicium has a Parasignia, much like me. I'm sure all of the Sector Bosses have one, but Judi's was the only one of theirs I've ever directly seen personally. They try to train them with each other - because the effects of a Parasignia are too strong for conventional soldiers to handle, without one of their own. Something about "Parasignia Resonance"? I don't usually understand that kind of talk, but basically - if you've got a Parasignia, you're more insulated from the effects of one yourself. Perfect for what I'm about to do, anyway - since my Parasignia doesn't directly affect others.

Judicium's Parasignia involves the control and manipulation of moisture in the air, so she can freeze things around her. Or she can use it to literally send chills down trainee soldier's spines to remind them that she's listening to them gab on about whatever stupid gossip was going around at the time.
In more useful terms, she can freeze the environment around her, make the floor slippery, and could probably use the ice to bolster her own defenses. While I've seen her use it, I don't think she was going all out that day. One thing though, is that she'd use it to control the environment and make it much harder to actually reach her. Rumours were that, she could even slow bullets, making it much harder to penetrate her defenses. Normally, I'd call that bullshit, but I saw it happen with my own eyes - I was sitting front row on the day she was explaining how Parasignias worked to the class. You ever see a bullet stop mid-air? I sure haven't. They were basically ice cubes by the time they dropped to the floor, coated in frost. I don't even know how she could stop a bullet that fast, but that was when she was really pushing herself. If she were smart and conserved her energy, the bullets would simply slow down enough to bounce off of her gear, but I guess she wanted a fancy-ass demonstration for the grunts of the power that Parasignias could hold. And who knows what kind of tactics she'll try to pull on me? This is a do or die situation.

I'll take suggestions from you on what equipment and module configuration I should use for the upcoming fight. Keep in mind that, if you slot a module into another module's subslot, you can't use it as a primary gadget.
But now that I've got a second gun... my options open up.

In terms of what I've got on me:
I've got my twin revolvers, the Sound and the Fury. Decent penetration, but not likely to break through her shield by themselves, especially with the fall-off that Judicium can create using her powers.

And my newest friend, the Creirwy D-3. High power, high recoil, lower range and accuracy than my girls. It would definitely stagger Judicium, even with her shield up, but I'd have to get in range of her own melee weaponry if that was the case.

Then the three standard issue gadgets:
The Beam Unit,
Explosive Discs (3),
and the Barrier Generator.

The Beam Unit's a long ranged attack that's pretty consistently strong, but it's got a long cooldown between each shot.
Meanwhile, I could probably pressure Judicium using the Explosive Discs, but she's liable to throw them back against me.
I'm unsure how much use the Barrier Generator would provide in a close-ranged encounter like this, but I wouldn't know what she's holding up her sleeve. She's most certainly hiding something from me, so maybe it can't hurt to be more cautious.
It's up to you bots to figure out something more effective - unlike other schmucks, I can combine my module effects together after all! Just remember that I've only got one effective copy of each of these - so if you're putting the Explosive Discs into the Beam Unit for extra firepower, don't ask me where the other two discs went. I can't just half and half it.

At very least, I should probably be whittling down her stamina from range, but I'm open to any plans or suggestions.
I could focus more on trickery and tactics using good positioning, and the weaponry I have, focusing on gunfire - with a particularly powerful modded gadget through my Parasignia as a finisher or an emergency tool, or I could employ more liberal usage of gadgetry in exchange for less concentrated power.

Now, cmon! Gimme tactics, or questions if there's anything you need to know. I ain't got all day.

Shorter plans can be suggested during combat too, so this isn't strictly the final decision on Argine's approach, but this will decide how she approaches the early stages of the encounter.
No. 985119 ID: 094652

>What is war?
To the unseasoned rookie, war is the wait leading to that moment when you discover whether you're a protagonist destined to survive a few chapters of raw Hell, or a disposable npc grunt sent to die for a game objective or a cutscene, all while witnessing the merciless slaughter of living, thinking beings on a scale incapable of full comprehension by even the most monstrous supervillain alive.

You were built to learn war, even if it kills you. This is nothing but battles pretending to be microwars.
So win already.
No. 985120 ID: 094652

Use the Barrier Generator as a primary and mod it with the Beam Unit. See, Judi can slow any projectiles to a crawl, and use ice to reflect any lasers. But what happens if you teleport an immovable barrier behind her escape route? And does her ability work if her line-of-sight is warped by ice lenses?
Plan's simple: get her to build an 'impenetrable' ice fortress with one opening for firing on your position, then teleport the barrier right next to her and trap her entirely. Then throw some explosive discs above her and crush her under her own hidey hole.
No. 985121 ID: 6e6f32

Sounds like Judicium's Parasignia is a Kinetic Energy Absorption/Dispersion Field. Let's go over what that entails.

Kinetic Energy while obviously motion, is also heat. (As heat is the vibrations of atoms)
We know this is a field effect because of the stopped bullet.
A barrier would shatter the bullet and it's impossible to track and stop a bullet directly, brains don't work that fast.
It's safe to assume that she can manipulate the size, shape, and intensity of the field. Without more examples we can't determine it's limitations in these regards though.

What we don't know is whether this is an Absorption or Dispersion effect. And we really need your input on this one.

Reason being: The energy must be conserved. It has to go "Somewhere".
If it's an Absorption field, where by it takes the kinetic energy into Judicum or the parasignia itself, then it may be able be overcome with sheer firepower.

If it's a Dispersion field, then her ability to use it is limited only by her own endurance. Without more information it's safe to say she'll be able to use it at will throughout the entire fight no matter how long you drag things out. In this case All physical and kinetic options are off the table. Here we would trick out the Beam Unit, maybe even trade a gun into your parasignia to combine it with to make it more useable.

Does Judicum seem to get hot after using her parasignia? Does the room around you get warmer or cooler when she slows and freezes objects? When she uses her parasignia, do you 'Feel" it with your own? More-so than with other peoples?

Me need more information. More anecdotes might help, If you don't have any, maybe try asking around?
No. 985122 ID: b1b4f3

Ok let's review our gadget combinations.
Beam is "focusing", explosive discs are "explosive", barrier is "reflective".

Beam +explosive: laser causes explosion at the point of impact.
Beam +reflective: laser bounces.
Discs +focusing: shaped charges.
Discs +reflective: creates a smaller barrier from a disc when thrown.
Barrier +focusing: wider barrier, lasts longer.
Barrier +explosive: barrier explodes when hit.
Beam +explosive+reflective: bouncing laser that explodes off every surface.
Discs +beam+barrier: decoy dummies that explode when hit
Barrier +beam+explosive: barrier that explodes when hit, but a more focused (and damaging?) blast.

Judicium's freeze ability sounds more like she's able to dampen the energy of whatever she's focusing on, both kinetic and thermal energy. It may also work subconsciously, since you can't actually react to a bullet coming at you, or she has to point it in a specific direction, but maybe she was able to focus on the bullets in the demonstration before they were fired so they were already under the slowing effect. How large is the range? You do not want to be within that range. She can just slow you down and then hit you with whatever nonlethal weapon she's got. Is it line of sight only?
Throwing discs at her sounds useful since an explosion would be harder to block, but there are some issues with that gadget- 1, can it even explode at low temperature? 2, she can stop its motion so that it doesn't come close enough to blow.
Using them as remote-detonated mines sounds more viable. You can hide them somewhere and lure her to them to detonate them. She probably won't use her ability to constantly freeze objects around her, so if she doesn't know the mines are there she won't preemptively freeze them.

Out of our combinations, these seem useful:
Beam +explosive, because I feel even if she "slows" the beam she'll have a hard time slowing the resulting explosion.
Beam +reflective, so that you can flank her with shots with the assumption her power is directional or requires line of sight or some other means of knowing the attack is coming.
Discs +focusing, to attack her from behind a wall. This could be a devastating attack.
Beam +explosive+reflective, for flanking WITH explosions.
Beam by itself sounds useful since her power might not work against it at all, as well as the discs and the barrier. We could just not combine anything!

I'm leaning towards not combining anything, in fact. How long does it take for you to combine devices? Could you start the fight with nothing combined to see how effective the beam is by itself, then use it in a combination, assuming you don't do something like use a disc?
No. 985123 ID: 0b42a2

Strategy: Go talk to her.

Say that since been injected with us, you have been suffering throbbing headaches, and ask her if she has something on her personal quarters or in medical to deal with that.

The second she turns her back to escort you, shoot her dead.

When they come to arrest you, start yelling "This is not what you promised, AI. This is not what you promised!"

It will make them assume we told you to kill Judicium, which we did.

When they make us stand on trial for it, we will make arguments to defend why we told you to kill her and, worst case scenario, they will purge us out of your system, call the project a failure, and assign you under someone else.

You get rid of her AND of us at the same time.
Problem solved!
No. 985124 ID: 094652

If you show you're willing to teamkill to get what you want, they will end you right here and right now with every deathtrap they've kept prepared for a rogue psycho scenario.
No. 985125 ID: b1b4f3

I'm pretty sure it's impossible to kill anyone in here anyway, at least with the weapons we have.
No. 985153 ID: 0b42a2

"I think you'll find our user was not *willing* to commit murder, she was *pressured* to do it by us, the very literal voices in her head, as we had assesed Judicium to be a threat to our user and-" Okay, you are right, they may not buy that hogwash. Let's make that our Plan Z.

Maybe using the Creirwy for keeping your distance, as well as the Barrier Generator as primary for defense and the Explosive Disk as secondary as a throw-her-guard-off attack might be the best course of action.
No. 985183 ID: b3d3e9

Actually talking to her might not be a bad choice. Taking on that parasignia without limits sounds borderline suicidal.
We need to convince her to make this a more interesting or sporty competition.
No. 985289 ID: 2a895f
File 161016292601.png - (531.04KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch04.png )

>What can Judi do with her abilities

A good amount of the trouble with powers like these is that when you're up against others with Parasignias, you don't necessarily know the exact scope of their abilities, or how they work.
Judicium's only ever shown off her stuff at distance, I wouldn't be able to tell you what she could do more specifically. People like her aren't the sort to show off anyway.

>Kinetic Absorption/Dispersion Fields
Now you're sounding like Diagram geeking out about the intricacies of how some of the gadgets work. They didn't teach us much about stuff like science, not unless you were more of a logistics sort of gal.

As for me feeling it when she uses her Parasignia... I think that happens with everyone. Like when Nanoweaver was taking apart that vial. Or ampoule. Whatever. Parasignias resonate with other Parasignias, moreso if they're gearing up to do something big. As for when she actually used it, it simply felt like it was cooling the air around her. Dunno if that means she was projecting that energy outwards or something, I'm not trained in science garbage.

>Talking to Judicium...
I'm sitting in the waiting room before we start beating the shit out of each other, you really think I can go and just chat her up or somethin?

>Killing her
If these tournaments involved the deaths of those involved, we wouldn't have any soldiers left by the end of it, because half of them would be dead, and the other half would be in the infirmary.
Tch. I don't like her, but...

>...In battle
That's more likely to accomplish something, at least. If I can rile her up or throw her off during our bout, more power to me. But she isn't the sort to agree to bets - that's something Astrolysis would do.

>How long does it take for you to combine your gadgets?
It's not so much the time, but the concentration and mindset. Doing it in the midst of combat is significantly difficult since I have to try and stitch together two different things while being shot at.

For now, I'm going to bring all three of them separately. If I'm getting gadgets for each time I defeat a sector boss, then I won't have to worry about having just the bare minimum for long.

I hear a crackling of a speaker.
"Argine, your opponent is ready. Are you prepared and ready as well?"
It's Nanoweaver's voice. I guess they picked her as the arbitrator.
"Yeah, just give me a bit," I reply to the intercom.

It's time.
No. 985290 ID: b1b4f3

Oh? It doesn't take much time to combine gadgets, but it's difficult during a fight?
I think your true potential will only be realized when you can do it easily during battle. Then you will effectively have all combinations available at once, so long as you haven't consumed any gadgets. It'd be even better if you could de-combine them too.
I'd suggest trying to practice it while distracted but you don't really have time for training at this point.

Let's go. As soon as you enter the arena you should focus on scouting while keeping your shield up. Find out where she is before she sees you, if possible. Knowing more of the layout of the arena would be good too.
No. 985291 ID: e51896

too late for what...?
Too late for... what?

OH! We're starting? Sorry, i spaced out thinking about something we just saw... I know it is going to sound weird, but unless you are both in the same waiting room, right before we came back to see you again, we actually for a split moment caught a glance of Judicium in her waiting room for some odd reason. I know that sounds weird, and I dont understand it myself, but maybe there was some kind of interference when she turned us back on, assuming she has that power...? Not sure...

But when we saw Judi for those 3 seconds, she was looking at her lens that she was wearing around her neck and said something like "I can only hope that it's not too late.". She didnt have her scarf either. Maybe she wont be using it in this fight?

In any case, if she isn't in the same waiting room as yours and we were able to spy on her for those 3 seconds, maybe there is some way to figure out how to master that ability to spy on her again for a longer time to listen in on her, or somebody else... not sure how at the moment though.
No. 985292 ID: e51896

In any case... lets kick some ass and take some names
No. 985299 ID: 6e6f32

>The Air Cools
Perfect! That's what we needed! Her ability absorbs energy!
You can overpower it!

That's why she brings a shield. She needs to block as much damage as possible conventionally because there is a Hard Limit to how much she can use her parasignia.

The Shotgun is your best bet here. Use (Beam + Barrier) and your disks to control where she is facing that shield of hers Then unload on her with the shotgun. Her parasignia won't hold up under that kind of abuse for long!

The only caveat is this: You cannot let her get close under any circumstance while she is still able to use her parasignia. To do so is Instant Defeat.
No. 985302 ID: 3de93c

Argine doesnt have shotgun, she has a long-range rifle.

Also, how many people are on this island?
No. 985303 ID: 6e6f32

>the Creirwy D-3. High power, high recoil, lower range and accuracy than my girls
(Her girls are pistols)

Sound like a shotgun to me.
No. 985624 ID: 2a895f
File 161058906015.png - (459.48KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch05.png )

It's eerily silent as I walk in, only the sound of the door creaking, then shutting behind me.
Behind those shatterproof glass walls, rows of seats would be filled up with excited soldiers from everywhere in the facility.
When you're in the centre, their shouts and cheers blend together... it's like the chaos of a battlefield, even when it's just two people.
But it doesn't feel right, fighting in this place when the seats aren't lit.
My footsteps echo as I walk deeper into the room. When they're not using this room for battles of glory, we trained. We carried our own training gear to and from the storehouses, placing 'em according to what our instructors say.
I guess this'll be the last time this room gets used in quite some time.
No. 985625 ID: 2a895f
File 161058909812.png - (123.48KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch06.png )

And there she is, waiting for me in the center. The ice queen herself.
I can feel her staring me down, judging me.

"Guess we're doing this, huh? You gonna stand there staring at me, or are you going to fight me?"
Judicium doesn't break her gaze.
Months and months of training, and I had never beaten her at one to one combat. This time's different. For one, I've got my equipment back. For another, I have you lot advising me.
"Consider this a lesson, Argine. If you insist on prolonging this, I won't go easy on you."

She shifts around, brandishing her weaponry.
"Do you want to do the pledge, or are you so disrespectful that you want to eschew even that part of our traditions?"
I raise a fist, revolver in hand.
"No, I'll do it. Not because you asked me to. But because I'll be taking hold of my own freedom."

I can hear Judicium take a deep breath.
No. 985626 ID: 2a895f
File 161058916669.png - (1.90MB , 1500x2000 , judibosspixelledpostproduction.png )

“I am Judicium, Instructor and Sector Boss of the Training Grounds. Under the banner of Amala, I pray for an honorable fight free of bloodshed.”
I respond in turn.
"My name is Argine. Like Urza who destroyed all foolish enough to challenge her, I will fight for victory, mine alone."

We grip our weapons, and I feel my heart quicken...
No. 985628 ID: 2a895f
File 161058921468.png - (31.63KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch08.png )


Assessment Phase initialized. Displaying environmental data.

Relevant data to current opponent rendering...

Parasignia Classification: Thermomanipulation (Cooling).
Preferred Weapon archetype: Polearm (Tonfa), Riot Shield

Potential Weaknesses (Subject to change):
- Parasignia upper threshold for energy absorption.
- Lack of ranged weaponry

It's go time. I don't know how Judicium fights in these circumstances, but she'll try to beat me in close range. Can't win solely by playing defense with that fancy shield of hers, however.
If I go in for a shot immediately, she'll most likely block it with that shield of hers. She knows I have to close in to stand a chance to overpower whatever abilities she has, and I don't have unlimited amounts of gadgets on hand.

No. 985632 ID: b1b4f3

I don't like your pledge but we'll talk about it after the fight.

Kindof wish we knew she was going to use a melee weapon...
Pepper her with laser shots and revolver ammo and stay out of range. Wear her down. If you can combine shield and explosives together while doing so, great. At some point you can close in and try shooting at close range with your shotgun. If explosive shield comes into play you can use it to make her pay for striking at you. If not, just use your own shield defensively and prioritize not getting disarmed. Hmm, do you have to materialize a gadget near your hands? If you get knocked down it'd be useful to materialize an explosive disc at your feet, which you could detonate or simply use its presence as a deterrent to keep her off you, or possibly detonate with her standing on it.
Maneuver to the right, the terrain looks easier.
No. 985633 ID: 46a721



Computer, which weapons and gadget combinations did Argine choose?
No. 985634 ID: 094652

The heroine Quain'tana thought she could barge her way through life by standing unbeatable. And she did. But the way she died was pathetic; one infected scratch attack did what entire armies could not, and she was too proud and paranoid to trust any medics until she succumbed to a slow-acting, highly visible, easily treatable disease.
Do not make the same mistake, do not push everyone away as you reach the top. The greatest Solo legend is never truly alone, lest life itself stab them in the back for their arrogance.

She chose all plainbreads, no mods. This is going to be complicated.

Since her shield can't block in two directions, your main strategy should be finding an opportunity to throw or plant an explosive disc behind her, while using guns or lasers to attack her from the front. Use your shield as a decoy rather than a defense, try planting a disc near it and see if she'll take the bait; put the disc on a pillar when she's out of line-of-sight, then pull up your shield and cover-fire until she closes the distance, detonate the disc when she's within range, classic mining.
No. 985637 ID: 46a721

Bait and switch tactics!

Make it seem like you're going to shoot her torso so she focuses on shielding it, then swiftly shoot at her legs.
Or vice-versa, aim at legs, shoot at torso.
No. 985660 ID: 6e6f32

The shield alone can likely stop small arms. Combined with her ability, it can probably stop just about anything with decent efficiency.

Throw your disks at and around her feat to manipulate her positioning and to force her distance. Try to avoid letting her get into corridors. Normally this would be an advantage for you but she can just bunker down and close distance.

She must dodge or physically block your beam weapon. Use it to manipulate her shield and concurrently unload with firearms elsewhere.
No. 985661 ID: a9af05

Be careful. She's wearing that weird talking scarf that you found in her office. There's no telling what that'll do.
No. 985710 ID: 2a895f
Audio VersusJudicium_Fight_the_Movement!_-_Epic_Battle_F.mp3 - (2.56MB , VersusJudicium_Fight the Movement! - Epic Battle F.mp3 )

Versus Judicium Fight Theme
Title: Fight the Movement (Epic Battle Fantasy 5 OST)
Link: https://youtu.be/RGHtMCVMWkA

No. 985711 ID: 2a895f
File 161070783808.png - (532.44KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch09.png )

I quickly hop back, your suggested strategies flitting through my head.
One thing is already clear - she's holding back on me still. I can't even feel her Parasignia's presence. Most likely, she's conserving it for later in the fight, when I've exhausted more of my supplies - thankfully, mine is long-lasting. It's not like my gadgets would un-merge, or they'd all pop out of my hammerspace or something.
As for her signia...
Well, I'll just have to beat it out of her, then.

>Combining in the middle of combat
Tch... I hate to admit that you're right. If I can do that at some point, then it would make things easier on me. But for now...

I've only got three discs on me so I'd have to make them count.
>Throw them at her feet
Are you trying to get me blown up?! She knows I can't use them this close because I'd get caught in the blast, and without a shield in between to block it.

Still, I try to line up a shot with the Beam Unit and-
"Too slow, Argine!"
But before I could step away, I feel the collision of a cold stick across my jaw. It stings, but it doesn't wind me nearly as much as Astrolysis' punches.
Instinctually, I return fire with one of my revolvers but the bullet pings off her shield. She raised it at the last damn moment!
"You don't expect to simply have me wait and get shot, do you?"

I fall back, vaulting over a nearby sandbag wall. Damn it, she didn't even let me take up my position before beating my face in!
No. 985712 ID: 2a895f
File 161070787025.png - (31.40KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch010.png )

For someone with a shield, she's far more aggressive than I thought. She knows that range is my primary advantage, but she isn't going to let me leverage it enough! Still - I don't think she could easily vault these sandbags, because if she does she would have to lower her shield, opening up opportunities.

>Be careful about that weird scarf.
Yeah. I made a deal with it, but who knows what it's gonna do? But it better deliver.

Still, I'm in this corner now. Let's see those plans - I've still got all my gadgets ready at a given moment.
No. 985713 ID: c808f8

For starters, is she hampered in any way by the cover? Or does she leap it without even thinking?
No. 985714 ID: 35d83e

Run towards further cover, then place an exploding disk down right on the edge to booby trap her persuit.
No. 985727 ID: 094652

Ranged attacks are your purview while closing the distance is Judicium's. Stick to the high ground and worry less about exposure when attacking. She'll have a harder time keeping her situational awareness on the ground for traps if she's too busy dodging your attacks from above.
No. 985728 ID: b1b4f3

She hit you before you could do anything? Is she just really fast, or did you hesitate?
>Are you trying to get me blown up?!
Would that really result in defeat? If she's closer to the blast than you are, she'll take more damage. If neither of you are able to move afterwards, you'll still be able to shoot her, and then you'll win.
But also, you said "without a shield in between"... you have a shield though. Bring it up, use it to block her strikes while retaliating with revolver shots. See how well that goes for a bit.
I don't think you said if you can use two independent gadgets at once- maybe you should try something like shield bashing her and then shooting a laser.
Then try blowing her up while blocking the blast with your shield.
No. 985764 ID: 031458

Fire at her with a pistol and surreptitiously jam a disk into the sandbags whilst backing away.

Shoot the disk when she pursues you. Unload on her while she's off balance.
No. 985820 ID: 15a025

Since you need the range advantage, that riot shield is going to be a huge hurdle for you to get over. It's a cray idea, but do you think your discs to blow it up?
No. 985998 ID: 2a895f
File 161113652405.png - (269.74KB , 1000x1000 , 1stch011.png )

>High ground
What high ground? Besides the four pillars in the area, only thing between me and her are the sandbags, and I doubt running along the top of 'em will help matters.

>Blowing up the shield
Knowing what we're made out of, I'm going to need way more explosives for that.

"You didn't even let me take my position, you bitch!" I shout, firing off more rounds toward her. It's ineffective, but as she focuses on blocking, I slip an explosive disc into the the sandbags as I retreat.

"You had already taken your position the moment you took your pledge!", she yells over the spray of bullets pinging off her shield as she closes the distance between us once again.
She didn't even notice the disc.

I continue to fire at her, reloading intermittently, and she's getting closer by the moment.
Just a little more, and...
No. 985999 ID: 2a895f
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The blast causes my ears to ring, but the heat is far less scorching than it was when I had put it onto my shield.
Sandbags are scattered across the battlefield as that bit of cover is glassed by the disc.
The shockwave brushes past my fur as I retreat further. Knowing her, she's going to still be standing after that.

One less disc to use.

In spite of that, I take the opportunity to swap to my shotgun, my revolvers dissipating as I put them into my Parasignia's storage.
No. 986000 ID: 2a895f
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Even before the smoke clears, I readied my shotgun, aiming towards where Judicium should be.

I fire, but all I hear is the pinging of my shot against the floor.

And to the side...
I can see her figure through the smoke standing tall. She stumbles a bit as she walks out, but her shield's still held high.
Her armour was charred by the explosion - her visor cracked.

"Tell me Argine...", she begins.
"What do you expect to get out of all of this?"

I don't lower my gun, continuing to strafe backwards.
"The hell do you expect? I want my freedom. Beating you's just part of it."
No. 986001 ID: 2a895f
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"Would you fight against the people who you care about for your freedom? If Diagram, or Nanoweaver were the ones standing in your way, would you harm them to secure your own freedom?"

Judicium shouts, throwing me off guard.
"Which is it, Argine?!"

[Articulation Phase Initialized.]
Argine pauses, hesitant to answer.
It would be easy. *So* easy to say that she would. It would catch Judicium off-guard, she believes - opening her up for another attack.
The thought causes her some grief. To condemn the two people closest to her, regardless of whether she actually believed what she was saying? Duels were sacred. Even with the reckless strategies she operates with, there is a difference between tricks on the battlefield, and tricks within conversation.

In this moment, one can suggest something for her to respond with. Whether it confirms or denies what the woman before her thinks, it will leave a lasting impression on them both.

What is your suggestion?

No. 986003 ID: 46a721

"I want to see the world! I want to have a purpose! But mostly, what I want, what I really, really want, is to find a place where my own family won't treat me like a cripple, never tell me why, and say I WOULD BE BETTER OFF DEAD!"
No. 986005 ID: 464e33

I recommend either "No" or "No harm we inflict in this arena is permanent."
No. 986011 ID: ce39da

Gonna take a "Mu" ("invalid question") on this one:

"Stupid question! They're not the ones trying to stop me here; you are! And I have no fucks left to give for people who treat my very birth as a mistake and won't even tell me why!"

These call and response exchanges during the matches are probably your last chance to make your true thoughts and feelings known to each sector boss. While I'm uncertain as to whether you're right about everything, what I am certain of is that many of the people here have no clue about some of the hellish conclusions you've come to. Poor communication goes both ways, and we've already taken the first step towards fixing it on our end; don't stop now.

Oh, and don't let her question distract you from staying out of whacking range.
No. 986012 ID: 094652

You already know the answer: it depends. You don't want to hurt those two, because they're your friends, but if the chips are down and lives are at stake, you'll go through them to keep others alive. Heroes have to make hard choices - what matters is that they understand what they're doing, and why.

But don't respond to her mind games; she's trying to prove how immature you are by conflicting you with your emotions in the middle of a duel. Stay silent, keep fighting.
No. 986017 ID: b1b4f3

If they were standing in the way of your freedom then you would need to have a long conversation with them to find out why.
So basically "I would talk to them."
No. 986029 ID: a9af05

Tell her that you would talk with them before things escalated to the point where you'd need to fight them.

Then flip it back on her and let her know that if she actually sat down and talked to you instead of blowing you off, keeping secrets, and not explaining anything, you wouldn't be fighting her right now.
No. 986042 ID: e51896

Is she serious? this is insulting... If Nanoweaver or Diagram was preventing you from leaving, I'd imagine you'd feel deeply betrayed by them as they had been one of the very few people that had supported your goals for freedom to see the world. And if they had any doubts about it, they would tell you long beforehand and you'd both have an honest civil debate as to why you should or shouldn't go without insulting you for being too quote-unquote "inferior" like everyone else believes.

But if they stood in your way now at the last second, you'd feel very sad, and angered for them betraying your trust. But you know they'd never do that because friends support each other, they support you. How dare Judi try to get you to question your friendship with them.

Also, for good measure, tell her about how the others had been mentally bullying you and seeing you as inferior most your life, even physically abusing you, and you want to prove them wrong once and for all before you take your leave.
No. 986048 ID: 864e49

This may let her know we over heard her conversation where she said that.
Not sure it's the right time to play that card.

"I'm done being YOUR mistake!"
No. 986101 ID: 031458

I wouldn't need to use violence with them Judicium!
They would never stand between and my freedom, and if they did I wouldn't have to use force to convince them otherwise!

We may all be family here, but they are friends who support me. You are an obstacle to be overcome. Don't imply you're the same!

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